Wedding season seems to be off and running! My husband and I took The Mistress out last weekend (oh, I should note his Harley’s name is The Mistress) being the weather was amazingly gorgeous we stopped at a few parks along the lakefront. Several wedding parties gallivanted around having pictures taken. Being the nosey onlooker with possible classification of being a stalker I kept being drawn to see what they did that might be unique. Still celebrating newlywed life after just celebrating our 7 months of marriage I often try to think of…if I were to do it all over would I do anything different.
I virtually made nearly everything for our wedding. And I wouldn’t change that.. however, I’ve since seen some neat designs that I think are neat!
1. Our save the date cards were simple photo cards of us from Walmart. I’m a huge fan of multiple pictures now…so I might do something to show a bit more of our personalities.
2. Our Ceremony took place outdoors at my parents house…it was heavenly. We rented a pretty tent with windowed sides. Having amazing day in October we decided to open the sides up on the back so it didn’t feel so cramped, however I wish I would have also opened the front up a bit. My husband made a neat Arbor as the focal point for our ceremony, however those sitting on the front sides weren’t able to see it during the ceremony, including those in our wedding party. You can kind of get the gist of it with our pre-wedding setting the stage picture
(when I was looking for this picture, I realized I created a share site through Shutterfly and NEVER even shared it….I guess I would do that after the wedding too. Here you go!
3. Have a list of pictures that you really want. While I thought I was all over that, I forgot a few. I wanted a pose of the newlyweds on my parent’s porch swing. I also had created a Thank you sign painted Barn Board, similar to these:
The plan was to have the husband and I holding the “Thank you” sign to take a picture for our actual thank you’s. And in the heat of the moment I was really annoyed with all the family pictures, but looking back I’m really glad I have them now!
4. I opted to have an ipod reception over a dj. My little brother has connections and one of his friends had all the sound equipment, so I hired him to be the MC for the night. While I don’t regret having an ipod wedding over a DJ, I have since learned of the Itunes DJ feature which allows guests to make requests. Would have been much easier. I had preset playlists according to our reception time line. Took quite a bit of time upfront creating all the playlists for the day!
And now a few things I feel I did right and would suggest to others:
1. As a engaged couple choose what 2-3 things that are really important to you and set your budget around them. According to everyone I talked with an average wedding in our area was around $20,000. I felt like that was more than I really wanted to spend. So we spoke with both our parents to see how much they were planning to chip in, and then determined how much we needed to save. We had 15 months from engagement to wedding day. I did my research to determine our budget. My preliminary budget was $10,000 and our actual budget ended up being just over $8,000 (that included everything from the wedding and honeymoon reservations). We did have a few incidents where we had to make some tough decisions, but in the end it was our day and we wanted to make sure the focus was on what we wanted.
2. As silly as it seemed, the 3 page itinerary was extremely helpful. It included everything I needed to do starting 2 days before the wedding, including times of rehearsal, contact information for go to people, who needed to be where and when. In our case, almost our entire wedding party was from out of town, and I have several family members (including myself) who are ALWAYS late! And although I may never live it down by all the men…it really was a handy tool.
3. I didn’t do a typical groom’s cake. Instead the wedding party had Dairy Queen Ice Cream cake. I originally wanted our entire wedding cake to be DQ ice cream cake but I didn’t know how to prevent the whole melting situation. Our wedding party was a huge fan of the ice cream cake as was I, since I’m not a fan of cake.
4. Our photographers put together a slide show after dinner including 20 pictures of the groom, 25 pictures of the bride, 5 of the couple, and then picture from teh ceremony. We had a private ceremony with just our closest friends and family so the slide show including the day of pictures was extremely well received. I was not able to buy rights to my pictures but our photographers ened up adding so much more to our package that I don’t really feel the need to have the rights to them at this point. Plus it is still their work, and it’s amazing. I would highly suggest them!
5. I’m a bit artistic so I made nearly everything and saved all my scraps. The scraps from the programs were used as table assignments. I am a huge scrap booking guru so all that was more fun than work! You can check out this post, this one too, and here too, to see all the other stuff I made.
6. Make sure to include a piece of who you are as individuals into the day. For example my husband is into hunting so the guys wore camo and I ended up liking them in their vests over their coats much better for pictures. He also is an avid Harley rider, so he wore his Harley boots. He and I both made lots of little things. I was a karaoke DJ in college so I actually sang the first song prior to dinner. A complete surprise to everyone and just another emotional touch. In case you are wondering I sang “When you say Nothing at all” by Allison Krauss.
7. You will be a beautiful bride no matter how much you spend on your dress. My budget was $500 for just the dress. After a few places I became rather disgusted with how ridiculously priced they are and how you tend to get sucked in. I had a picture in my head of what I was looking for. I ended up finding my dress on ebay, made to fit me, from a seller in China for the whopping price of $20. With shipping it cost $150, but even then it was much cheaper than what I was finding everywhere else. It ended up being exactly what I was looking for…maybe a little more formal than I was anticipating, but it really didn’t bother me.
8. Have Fun! Stuff happens, but regardless it’s still your day…soak it all in and enjoy it!